The attorney for a man charged with plotting to bomb a shopping mall said his client was “stripped of his identity” while in federal custody.

Attorney Mahir Sherif said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that after Nuradin Abdi’s arrest last November, he was booked into an immigration jail under the name “John Doe.”

“His jailers addressed him as John Doe and any correspondence he received was addressed to John Doe,” Sherif said. “His family … and all other relatives were not allowed to see or visit with him despite their efforts to do so.”

Authorities accuse Abdi, a Somali refugee, of plotting with admitted al-Qaida member Iyman Faris to blow up a shopping mall. He was indicted earlier this month on charges including providing material support to al-Qaida, conspiracy and document fraud. If convicted, he could get up to 80 years in prison.

Sherif said he did not know who directed that Abdi be booked as John Doe or prohibited his family from visiting him. Authorities say Abdi is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals.

Messages were left seeking comment late Wednesday with a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio…


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